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Author Topic: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated  (Read 2051 times)


  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« on: October 22, 2015, 04:13:52 pm »
We have a very old Silkie chicken who is now on her own as the last of her companions is no more.
We also recently got seven new chickens who are 17 weeks old now and are hopefully going to keep us supplied with eggs.
The new hens live in with our pygmy goats while the two old Silkies lived in the garden and that was fine. When we were down to one Silkie we tried her with the new birds but she wasn't at all happy so she's just been on her own. Last weekend she decided she wanted to go in with the others so we tried that and it was fine, but we put her back in her own house at night and she hasn't wanted to go back in with the others since.
My question is - I'd like to get some more Silkies and I wonder if she's going to be happy with them moving in with her or whether that will be problematic for her? I hope it would be company for her and keep her warm in the winter but I'd appreciate any advice on whether it's a good idea. She's terribly old but active and energetic and there's no question of not looking after her till her natural end!
Thanks very much.
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

Jukes Mum

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 04:17:23 pm »
Could you see if anyone else has an older silkie you could take to keep her company. The young 'uns can be a bit 'boisterous'.
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Re: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2015, 07:34:30 am »
Don't suppose she still goes broody?  My old silkie got some new friends by hatching some fertile eggs.

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  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 08:18:20 am »
Backinwellies - she's always been prone to broodiness, but she's not laying anymore so I'm not sure how I'd encourage her. She keeps busy all day, it's at night I worry that she'll get cold with no companions.
I thought maybe if I put young birds in with her she'd accept them but if she didn't we'd be stuck as we don't have another chicken house!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2015, 02:05:04 pm »
Despite their cute and fluffy appearance I have always found silkies to be quite feisty little birds so I wasn't the slightest bit surprised to hear that she wasn't keen to hang out with the new flock. I absolutely love the fact that you are so tuned into her that you can read if she wants to go in with the others or not. Brilliant chicken whispering. :excited:

Starting with chicks would be good as she would be top hen but its not really the time of year for chicks and its the cold winter nights that you are concerned about. In terms of keeping her warm you could always bring her indoors to roost in a cat box if the weather turns bitterly cold but the impact that one other bird would make on the temperature of a coop would probably be minimal and would very much depend on the size of the coop.

If you are wanting company for her then two older  or smaller birds might be the answer as long as they are very laid back and happy to be bossed around. If however you feel that she is content on her own even though she has the option to join the others then that may be her preference. Although we all prefer to have company for ourselves and our animals, sometimes being alone is preferable to being with those that we dont get along with.

If you dont like this idea than another option could be to get a couple of ducks. They wont speak chicken of course but will be content to poddle about with her and roost in the same accommodation......

Personally I would get a couple of silkies, sebrites, pekins, sablepoots or of course my beauliful laid back croad Langshan bantams.


  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Advice on elderly pet chicken appreciated
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2015, 03:43:29 pm »
What about giving her a hot water bottle? Or would that be too much?
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.


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